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Summer Research with MD or PhD?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by SAS1284, May 8, 2008.

  1. SAS1284

    SAS1284 5+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Hi, I am starting medical school this fall and am searching for a lab to do research in this summer. Ideally, I will continue to do research in the lab during the year/next summer. I have gotten offers from both a lab headed by a PhD and one headed by an MD. Both labs are interesting and publish often, however, I was wondering if anyone knew if there is any advantage to work with an MD over a PhD or vice versa?
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  3. SplenoMegastar

    SplenoMegastar MS4 7+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2008
    I think you will get many different opinions on this, but here's mine. If they both publish often and in decent journals that does help level the playing field some. Having worked with both, I would say go with the person that you think will be the best mentor. If they are both doing good science and you are very interested in both projects, how well your personality fits with the PI's is the other most important thing to think about. If the MD has a clinical practice that you might have some exposure to, or if they are doing more clinical research and that's what you want to do too, that could be an advantage.
  4. frikarika

    frikarika RADIOHEAD 5+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Planet Telex
    I've worked with both MD's and PhD's in research labs and generally it does not make a difference. The only benefit to working with a MD is if that person is in charge of a Clinical research lab, so you could interact with patients. Otherwise a MD working in a strictly basic science research lab is essentially just a glorified PhD.

    BTW where are you going to school? Your MDapps says at you're from Kansas....Rock Chalk.
  5. kevster2001

    kevster2001 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Go with someone who has had experience working with medical students. Your time is extremely limited and the goal is always a publication. That being said, MDs usually work on clinical research and those tend to take less time, have less hang-ups, and tend to be accepted for publication more often (assuming the data is of value).

    I'm working a surgeon this summer that has worked with med students the last 2 summers and they've all been pub'ed for their efforts. *fingers crossed*
  6. Monica Lewinsky

    Monica Lewinsky 2+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    FWIW, MDs tend to be connected with others in their specialties, which can give you help when you match. A well-respected PhD researcher may trump this, especially if the research you do is quality.

    I don't think that your decision should come down to these rather meaningless designations. Pick the project you like and try to pick a project that is likely to turn decent results.
  7. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2003
    MD is what i would recommend. They just understand your needs a lot better than those life long PhD's.
  8. SugPlum

    SugPlum 2+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2007
    I worked with both MDs and PhDs in lab research before med school. Research itself was similar. Some MD researchers may take students to clinic if they have clinical service.

    Not all MD researchers have clinical service. There is an MD-PhD prof at my school who never did residency. Another example is pathologists doing research; they won't be able to bring you to clinic since they don't see patients.

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